Lot 363
  • 363

Important Diamond necklace, Chaumet, circa 1915

300,000 - 500,000 CHF
842,500 CHF
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  • Chaumet
The front millegrain-set with circular- and single-cut diamonds, suspending a fringe of pear-shaped stones terminating on a circular-cut diamond weighing 27.62 carats, length approximately 435mm, mounted in gold and platinum, unsigned, French assay and maker's marks.


Catalogue Note

The French firm of Chaumet has flourished for over two hundred years. The firm was founded in Paris in the 1780s when Marie-Etienne Nitot (1750-1809) opened his first shop in rue St Honoré.  The business thrived and the exquisite and lavish pieces caught the eye of Napoleon, who awarded them the title of Court Jeweller. This set a precedent for coming generations of the firm who would enjoy similar royal patronage. With the backing of the Emperor, Nitot et Fils became the most famous jewellers of the day and among their major achievements were the Consular Sword, the tiara Napoleon offered to Pope Pius VII and the grand gem-set parures commissioned by Empresses Josephine and Marie-Louise.
Joseph Chaumet, a jeweller from Bordeaux, married into the family and eventually took over control of the company, and in 1889, changed the name to his own. Under his direction, the firm participated in the grand international exhibitions of the time, winning several prizes, and supplying jewels to the aristocratic and royal houses of Europe. A branch was opened in London in 1905 and two years later Chaumet moved to the prestigious address of 12 place Vendôme, just opposite the Ritz Hotel. Their superb production of jewels in the garland style gained Chaumet the favour of a varied clientele that included European aristocracy, American millionaires, singers and actresses. The firm thrived in the 1920s, creating some of the most classic examples of the Art Deco style. A shop was opened in New York in 1920.  In 1928 Marcel Chaumet (1886-1964) succeeded his father and brilliantly managed the firm, further enlarging its clientele and promoting the evolution of design towards the tastes of the 1930s and 1940s. Marcel's sons Jacques (b. 1926) and Pierre (b. 1928) were appointed joint managing directors in 1958 and they both remained in charge until 1987. Representing the ninth generation in a line of jewellers, they exercised tight control over each item that bore the Chaumet signature. They led the firm through the stylistic changes of three decades, encouraging the development of original designs.  In 2001 Chaumet was acquired by LVMH. Today, designers are again turning to archives from the past for inspiration, particularly from the 1930s and 1940s. The modern face of the brand is Stella Tennant.